New research centre to put police reform in sharp focus

The new NMBU centre builds on the expansive EU-funded project Community Oriented Policing (ICT4COP). Both the project and the new centre are headed by Ingrid Nyborg, post-conflict expert and Associate Professor at NMBU.

Expanding NMBU’s areas of expertise

The centre will offer cutting-edge research and teaching on central issues related to community-based policing and on how police can adapt to improve security in areas that have suffered violent conflict. 

Through these activities, the centre will expand NMBU's expertise to a subject area that is broader than the existing academic areas at the Norwegian university.

Putting research results into practice for changemaking in human security

Why do we need such a centre - what can this centre do that the ICT4COP project didn’t already achieve?

Centre leader, Ingrid Nyborg explains that results from the project will be shared with various policymakers and practitioners who can utilize them in their governance decisions.

“The ICT4COP project explored the experiences with community-based policing in difficult contexts with a new lens, giving us a more comprehensive understanding of how to study the complex processes involved in police reform after a conflict. With this understanding, the centre can both share these results with policymakers and practitioners, as well as initiate further participatory and innovative research on those issues we found to be central, such as  mutual trust -building processes between police and communities”, says Nyborg.

Expanding to yet more countries experiencing conflict/police reform

The Community Oriented Policing project was an extensive undertaking, spanning 12 countries and 4 continents. The centre will expand on this to reach additional post-conflict countries and regions undergoing police reform.

“There is already an interest from researchers and practitioners in countries other than our case studies to apply our tools of analysis and findings to their police reform processes”, says Nyborg. “This includes countries not specifically experiencing conflict, but that are nevertheless struggling with designing a police reform that includes civil society in a much more active manner”.

Building trust between police and communities

What can the centre concretely contribute to increased human security?

“We hope that the centre can, through innovative research, discussion and idea and knowledge creation, inspire policymakers and practitioners to create  policing systems where the focus is on mutual trust-building, and addressing the actual set of insecurities experienced by those most vulnerable in society”, explains Nyborg.  “The hope is that police reform will be not only an inclusive process, but one based on the active participation of communities and other government agencies, so that it contributes directly to improvements in human security”.   

The Center for Community-Based Policing and Post-Conflict Police Reform is hosted by the Department of International Environment and Development Studies at the Norwegian University of Life Science (NMBU). It runs from December 2021 to December 2026.

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Published 14. January 2022 - 11:45 - Updated 19. January 2022 - 10:21